Rentech receives financing to fund Illinois fertilizer projects

24 July 2014 22:38 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Rentech Nitrogen has entered into a $50m revolving credit facility with GE Capital to fund growth projects, and if necessary be utilised for general partnership purposes, the US fertilizer producer announced on Thursday.

Officials said this line of credit replaces the $35m working capital facility obtained in April 2013 and is advantageous as it will provide increased flexibility at lower cost to the producer. The agreement matures in July 2019 but the company does not have to repay periodically the entire outstanding balance, which allows it to advance forward on projects at its Illinois-based facility.

Looking at current expansion and growth plans through 2015, Rentech said it expects to have an outstanding balance of $10-15m designated for the nitric plant upgrade at its East Dubuque facility. The rest of the project includes a fourth urea compressor, a third diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) storage tank and a hydrogen recovery upgrade at the facility, which is located in the northwest corner of Illinois.

The nitric acid upgrade is anticipated to improve production by significantly reducing power consumption at East Dubuque and will result in an increase of approximately 8%, or 30 tons (27 tonnes) per day, in nitric acid output. This would allow the facility to upgrade more ammonia to produce an additional 14,700 tons of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) annually. Rentech expects the project to cost approximately $7m and be completed by Q1 2015.

Officials said the fourth compressor in the urea plant will improve reliability and yield a 5% increase in urea production rates and bring total urea production to approximately 484 tons per day. It plans to upgrade the additional urea to UAN and DEF. Rentech estimates this work will cost approximately $4m with completion scheduled for the end of this year.

The producer is also installing a third DEF tank to provide flexibility to store additional urea in response to growing demand for liquid urea and DEF. The project is expected to cost approximately $400,000 and the company said it will be operational in Q4.

Officials said the final project at East Dubuque will increase the amount of hydrogen recovered from the purge gas, which will increase efficiency of the ammonia plant synthesis loop. The company estimates the work will cost $400,000 and be completed at the end of this month.

By Mark Milam